Summary: The destruction of Sodom

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Genesis 19:1-38

John Shearhart

January 2, 2011

In the book of Genesis we’ve seen how God created all things in six days, and how all these things were corrupted by sin when Adam ate from the tree of knowledge. Suddenly everything was under a curse.

But God wasn’t taken by surprise: in Revelation (13:8) we learn that the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) was slain before the foundation of the world. In other words, before Adam took that first bite, God had a plan!

The life of Abraham shows us a big part of that plan. When Adam sinned, everything was subjected to futility, but God chose Abraham from all the people of the earth, and He established His covenant (or His promise) with him.

The promise is that God will take this idolater (Josh. 24:2), this Gentile really—he’s no different than anyone else, and He’ll bless him and make his name great (Gen. 12). God will credit him with righteousness, so that he and all his descendants will be redeemed from the curse of Adam.

So God leads him from Ur (his hometown) to Canaan (the Promised Land), and Abraham waits there for many years. He’s still waiting for the birth of a son through his 90 year old wife, but God (in chapter 18) has promised it will happen in about a year.

And now we come to chapter 19 where we have this little interlude where we see the destruction of Sodom. Now, you’ll remember that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, lives in the city, so Abraham has asked God to spare it if He can find just 10 righteous people living there. And God agrees to this, and then He turns to leave towards Sodom.

This is where we pick up today:

And there came two angels to Sodom at even;

These are the same two angels who were with God in chapter 18. They had continued on their way down while Abraham plead for the city, and they arrive at evening,

and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 2And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. 3And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

So, things have changed a little since we last saw Lot. In 13:12 we read that he “pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Now we see that he’s got a house in Sodom. He’s made himself a little home here. He’s got a real house with a real door, and he sits at the gate of the city with the rest of the men; he’s come a long way from living in a tent just outside town.

But at what cost?

Moses tells us that even when he first arrived the city was exceedingly wicked (13:13). And he doesn’t know it yet, but by the end of the night he’ll lose all he’s earned. Not too many nights from now his home will be a cave.

But for now everything seems fine, and he knows the wickedness of the city, so he invites these men to his house before anyone can do anything to them. When they refuse he presses them greatly to change their minds—he knows the character of the men of Sodom, and he won’t take no for an answer.

So, the men agree to go with him, and he shows them the same hospitality Abraham had; he feeds them and washes their feet and gives them a place to rest.

4But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

The men of Sodom are so exceedingly wicked that they surround the house and demand to rape Lot’s guests. And I get a creepy feeling thinking about it—they called out to him from outside while he was inside. It’s almost like a horror movie. You can picture Lot and everyone sitting in the house having just finished their meal when they hear some shouting outside. They stop to listen and realize what the men are saying. They get a look outside and realize that every man in the city is there with such wicked intentions. What a feeling of hopelessness! Well Lot has to do something:

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